Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Lose Starting Goalie, Then Lose To Philadelphia Flyers

By Colin Likas
Dec 1, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) and defenseman Michal Kempny (6) defend a shot by New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 1, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) and defenseman Michal Kempny (6) defend a shot by New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Blackhawks had a rough start to their Saturday, and things didn’t get any better on the ice

Coming off two so-so performances at home against the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils, the Chicago Blackhawks took to Philadelphia for the first half of a back-to-back. The team wasn’t exactly set up for success before it hit the ice, and that showed in a 3-1 loss to the Flyers.

Starting goaltender Corey Crawford was scratched from the game with an illness about 1 1/2 hours before first puck drop. Right before the game started, it was announced Crow was having an emergency appendectomy at a Philly-area hospital.

The Blackhawks snagged an emergency goaltender in Eric Semborski, a former Temple University club player, while not having to make a roster move under NHL emergency rules. While that made for an interesting story prior to the game, it left the Blackhawks sans their starting keeper.

That would become a problem as Saturday’s matinee tilt went on.

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Decisions, decisions

Of course, Semborski wasn’t going to start this game. He didn’t play in it, which was certainly for the best. Scott Darling got the call, and he’ll get most if not all of them while Crow is sidelined.

There is no timetable yet on Crow’s potential return. Twitter noted during Saturday’s game that Chris Mason once returned from an appendectomy in about 13 days, but that should by no means be the benchmark.

The Blackhawks will have to call up someone to back up Darling for a spell, with Lars Johansson and Mac Carruth the likely leading candidates in Rockford. This becomes extra confusing with Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews possibly ready to come off IR and return Sunday against Winnipeg.

In additional injury news, defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk came back from a shoulder injury and slotted in against Philly. Gustav Forsling and Michal Rozsival were held out, and the Blackhawks will have decisions to make here as well, as they’re carrying eight blueliners while needing to get Toews back in and call up a backup goalie.

What about the actual game?

Right. There was a game in Philly, even if most of the talk was centered around injuries. But the Blackhawks didn’t play particularly well in said game, so I didn’t want to talk about it much.

Things actually got off to an OK start scoreboard-wise for Chicago. Artemi Panarin took a slick cross-ice pass from Artem Anisimov and hammered home a one-timer to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 first-period lead.

But Philadelphia outshot Chicago 16-6 in the opening period, and the Flyers started converting on their chances in the second frame.

Defenseman Ivan Provorov netted a pair of goals in 31 seconds early in the middle period, and Travis Konecny added a goal later in the period to put Philly up 3-1.

Then, the Blackhawks had a possible goal not counted in their favor, as Provorov appeared to pull the puck from out of the net after it had just barely crossed the goal line. But the call on the ice was “no goal,” and the officials decided after a lengthy review there was insufficient evidence to overturn.

Next: Blackhawks' Third Line Sparks Victories

The third period saw a little early push from Chicago, but it was mostly elementary to close out. The Blackhawks fell to 16-7-3 on the season and take on the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday at the United Center. They also take on quite a few roster questions before that game begins.

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